234. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan1

149919. 1. On September 12 Secretary asked Jordanian Ambassador Sharaf to call in order to (a) exchange information on general situation in Amman and (b) urge that GOJ do everything to assure safety of passengers. Sharaf indicated he had no information from Amman but assured Secretary that he certain GOJ doing everything in its power to protect passengers and to effect their safe departure from Amman. Sharaf promised to convey Secretary’s request to his government. Sharaf noted that PFLP not beholden to any other Palestinian organization and had been expelled from PLO Central Committee earlier September 12. Sharaf stated that while GOJ had good liaison with more moderate Palestinian groups, it doubted GOJ could do much with PFLP.

2. Secretary informed Sharaf that most passengers presently in Amman and that problem now was to obtain their early release. He again hoped GOJ would do everything to assist in this effort.

3. In conclusion, Secretary emphasized that it now important for King and GOJ to demonstrate to all concerned that they are able take control of internal Jordanian situation. Secretary stressed he not suggesting confrontation with fedayeen in order to destroy them. He noted, however, that incidents of past week in particular have caused doubt re ability GOJ exercise clear-cut authority throughout kingdom. This growing doubt about GOJ’s efficacy affects not only current [Page 668] situation but even more important possibility of achievement of fundamental peace settlement in Near East. Israelis have already been asking question with whom peace can be made in Jordan. Secretary said that we believe this is relevant question and hope that stronger stance on part GOJ over coming days will provide answer.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, AV 12 US. Secret; Priority. Drafted on September 12 by Scotes; cleared by Seelye; and approved by Sisco. It was repeated to Beirut, Bern, Bonn, Jerusalem, London, Tel Aviv, and USUN.